I haven’t had a chance to play yet, so this is just based on reading, but one thing I’m unclear on is when a monster…

I haven’t had a chance to play yet, so this is just based on reading, but one thing I’m unclear on is when a monster…

I haven’t had a chance to play yet, so this is just based on reading, but one thing I’m unclear on is when a monster makes a move, is it automatically “successful?” As a specific, if a player engages in a monster in melee, invoking the Hack and Slash move, and the result is 7-9, is there also a 2d6 roll for the monsters response, or is it simply effect, whether that be to cause damage or some other outcome?

22 thoughts on “I haven’t had a chance to play yet, so this is just based on reading, but one thing I’m unclear on is when a monster…”

  1. From the book:

    On a 7–9, you deal your damage to the enemy and the enemy makes an attack against you.

    The enemy’s counterattack can be any GM move made directly with that creature. A goblin might just attack you back, or they might jam a poisoned needle into your veins. Life’s tough, isn’t it?

  2. Use a monster, danger, or location move

    Every monster in an adventure has moves associated with it, as do many locations. A monster or location move is just a description of what that location or monster does, maybe “hurl someone away” or “bridge the planes.” If a player move (like hack and slash) says that a monster gets to make an attack, make an aggressive move with that monster.

    The overarching dangers of the adventure also have moves associated with them. Use these moves to bring that danger into play, which may mean more monsters.

  3. It’s up to GM on this, I’ve heard with monsters versus players or PvP where if the player roll#1 fails (either with 6- or the house rules of doubles of 1s) then the other automatically succeeded. While I like the idea of just doing it in narrative, the dice rolls offer some fun degree of slight randomness. Just what I prefer to color things some unless a better idea presents itself.

    Example depending on monster roll of a goblin grabbing the bard: 6- goblin grabs but gets tangled in the vines or bard’s gear, 7-9 goblin grabs bard to drag him along but gets in awkward position, 10+ would be good grab plus hits the bard dazing him or getting knocked out.

  4. Darren Priddy Unless a player is playing the goblin, there is no roll to grab the bard. A soft move may set it up: “the goblin reaches to grab your jerkin, his other hand brandishing a nasty, rusted dagger – what do you do?” Then the bard rolls 2D6 if a move is triggered, so let’s say the bard decides to respond by attacking the goblin outright rather than dodging (or whatever – Hack and Slash instead of some sort of Defy Danger or power). On 10+, the bard deals damage and I personally would assume the attack causes the goblin to withdraw his reach. On 7-9, the bard deals damage but the goblin grabs him (no damage yet, since the grab was the initial attack). On a 6-, the bard is grabbed and I may follow through with stab damage, who knows.

  5. In response to OP, though – the core mechanic is, perhaps over-simplified, as follows: 10+ the PC succeeds, period/7-9 the PC succeeds but at a cost/6- no success and the GM has a golden opportunity for a soft or hard move (depending on fictional relevance).

    In the case of Hack and Slash, it’s spelled out, so the PC deals damage and the monster makes an attack against them. This attack does not have to be a strike of some kind that deals damage – it could be a grab, a push, or whatever makes sense. But if damage would result, deal the damage – the monster does not roll, since the player’s roll determines that outcome (on a 10+, the monster would have failed at their attack, essentially).

  6. Chris McGee was trying to write fast & missed that point getting in there but for my example it was going off the player with the bard failing the roll to attack or dodge out of the way. So the grab is already happening & I don’t have much preference on the details so I’d roll to see how hard it is for the goblin then go from there. Sorry all for the slight confusion.

  7. Chris McGee Your 2nd graph there about H&S finally gave me the clear answer I was looking for in terms of damage, thanks!

    Let me throw another scenario at you, probably a bit more subjective. You’ve got an ogre and a fighter going head to head, and the fighter slashes at the ogre’s gut, invoking H&S. The ogre’s response is too grab the fighter and fling him across the cave. The fighter rolled 7-9 on H&S, does the ogre pick him up and throw with no further rolls by the player, or would they be offered further opportunity to respond, perhaps invoking Defy Danger?

  8. It depends on how you want to go. Both are valid. I would go with “they take you and throw you accros the room”, especially if this is an experienced ogre or if the fighter has not much experience with fighting bigger opponents. 

    The other thing would be “the ogre picks you up and readies his arm to throw you through the room. He has your left arm and legs firmly gripped but your right arm is free. What do you do?” 

  9. Darren Priddy Michael Llaneza unless I’m reading you wrong, that’s not what the rules say. GM doesn’t roll; the GM decides. That’s their job here.

  10. Darren Priddy yeah, thats a fine preference and house rule or custom move and all, but for someone who hasn’t played and is just reading, it might be best to simply point to textual answers.

  11. To the experienced DW DMs: What is the percentage of H&S 7-9 rolls that you have that “deal monster damage” versus “make a monster move,” “reveal an unwelcome truth”, “show the downside of the player’s move/equipment”, etc.?

    I.e 50% deal damage, 25% monster move (hard move), 15% dungeon/environment move, 10% other

    The reason I ask is that dealing damage seems so dull compared to the other moves you have available, and adds another level of complexity for the player who are used to just standing toe to toe and HP attrition whacking.

  12. Clinton Pong it’s really hard to say percentage wise. About the only times I’ll only deal damage are:

     – When it’s incidental damage (a big fight with a couple archers that the PCs are ignoring)

     – The monster’s damage is inherently interesting (usually because it has the /forceful/ or /messy/ tags. 

     – When the PC’s damage is sufficient to drop the foe (in which case the PC taking some damage is the only real cost)

    In almost any other situation, I’ll deal damage as part of another move (a monster move like “throw them” or a standard move like “put them in a spot”).

    Like, say it’s a 7-9 H&S with the fighter vs charging goblin, and the fighter rolls low damage.  I’m might have the goblin leap on the fighter’s chest (cutting cut on the way), grab and fighter’s collar and start stabby-stabbing.  Yeah, I roll damage but that’s incidental to the real move “put them in a spot” (or arguably “show them the downsides of their stuff,” in this case their close-range sword that’s not useful at touch-range).

  13. Jeremy Strandberg That triggered another interesting thought on H&S — if the fighter engages the goblin, rolls 7-9 but does 5 damage, dropping the goblin, is the fighter still privy to a monster attack before the for drops dead?

  14. Jeremy Strandberg That makes sense as well, totally see how that follows the fiction.

    A couple answers in this thread have done a lot to help it click. I already knew I loved what I was reading, but this really helps me wrap my brain around it.

  15. This might have been said above, but this is from the rule book on the GM rolling dice. It’s under the Deal Damage GM move. 

    “Most damage is based on a die roll. When a player takes damage, tell them what to roll. You never need to touch the dice. If the player is too cowardly to find out their own fate, they can ask another player to roll for them.”

  16. Zachary Zahringer Yeah, I was following the part on players rolling the dice, I was just unclear if they needed to roll to determine success prior to rolling damage

  17. Yeah, Tim Franzke covered you there. Most of the time, though, the PC is reacting to you. The Fighter is slashing at the ogre because the ogre is already doing something directed at the Fighter. If the fiction dictates that the fighter gets a surprise strike, then no roll is even needed really.

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